Uganda’s speaker of parliament Honourable Rebecca Kadaga has added her voice to those advocating for war crimes offenders to be tried by countries where they have committed the said offenses.
The speaker made these remarks on Monday while addressing the 7th Consultative Assembly of Parliamentarians for the International Criminal Court and the World Parliamentary Conference on Human Rights in the Italian capital Rome that was convened by Parliamentarians for Global Action .
“States should be free to refer a matter to the ICC, withdraw it or direct proceedings to be carried out by the state’s local courts. Uganda tried to withdraw its reference to the ICC concerning the leaders of the LRA but without success,” Kadaga said.
Joseph Kony, the leader of the rebel group Lord’s Resistance Army that waged a two decade war in Northern Uganda was in 2005 indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands though he is still at large.
The speaker also raised the issue of the conflict between the Rome Statute and national laws passed by states signatory to the Statute and advised the international Criminal Court to resolve it.
Fatou Bensouda, the ICC chief prosecutor reiterated the commitment of the international community to arrest and try Kony and his accomplices for crimes against humanity.
She also appealed to member states for cooperation in enforcing the arrest of persons for whom warrants have been issued.
The ICC is the first permanent, treaty-based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, namely war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
32 African countries are signatories to the Statute while 12o member states have since ratified the statute.